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4.0 out of 5 stars
Absolution Tour [DVD] [2006]
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2006
Firstly, before I begin this review, let me just share with you a nugget of stupidity from an obsessive in another review on this very site. Moaning in a slightly mindless fashion about where the DVD was primarily filmed he seethes:
"...and the the second night of Earl's Court, which I'm sorry but only Absolution Band Wagon jumpers attended, the real fans strived to get tickets on the 19th"
Ahem. Being one of these 'Absolution Band Wagon jumpers' as I am, I attended the concert at Earls Court on the 20th December 2004, mainly because the 19th sold out so quickly (I guess my inability to get tickets to a sold out concert somehow makes me an unfaithful fan and for this, I hang my head in shame) and I'm really rather glad I did, as it was in fact fantastic. It was universally acknowledged in both the music press and among people I have spoken to who attended both concerts as the better of the two nights. Oh well, what do I know - after all, I'm not a 'real' fan.
But enough of this commenting on other people's comments thing. I real reason I'm writing this is to say that despite people whinging, this DVD is well worth its price tag. Granted, it isn't quite as inventive as 'Hullabaloo' was, but the band have grown into ten or fifteen times the band they were in 2001. Vocals in particular are much better, which is saying something as Matt Bellamy's voice wasn't exactly bad to begin with - but it sounds so much more controlled and measured now.
Instrumentally the band are maturing into a truely incredible act: tight, perfect perfomances and just the right balance of changing up old tracks so they slide gracefully alongside the new.
Picture quality is fantastic for pretty much all the songs from Glastonbury, and the footage from Earls Court looks fab too. The sound is crisp and clear, which makes a pleasant change for an outside gig.
All in all, I can't really fault the quality of the songs on display here. The only reason I've marked it only four stars is the lack of extras aside from the bonus footage, and the exclusion of more live songs from the tour as a whole.
Go buy or borrow, and enjoy.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2006
I'm gonna have to start by massively disagreeing with the few who say that this dvd is a let down, because they're all nuts. I bought Hullabaloo and rated it 4 stars as it was a great dvd that really captured the atmosphere of a Muse gig. Absolution Tour is much better still. I lent mine to a friend two months ago and still haven't watched it since because it's now on its sixth loan out since then because people keep hearing of how good it is and want to watch it. I've seen this dvd have non Muse fans giggling with excitement. I was totally blown away by it. Honestly? I can't imagine how you couldn't love it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2007
Little note before the review, why do people argue over music? If you like it listen to it, if theres such a thing an absolution band wagon jumper then who cares? you are blaming someone for not listening to the radio or watching music channels enough, its so stupid.

QUIT ARGUING.

Anyway I must say this is worth the price, and well done amazon for selling it so cheap, the actual glastonbury concert is an hour long and shows just how amazing muse are live, they recently just won there fourth best live act award and they deserve it. Matt and co. perform songs from all there albums up to Absolution, excluding hullabaloo, which is just a b-sides soundtrack, they are so creative on this dvd, with matt doing the sunburn solo on piano and all the solos are changed to a certain extent.

Its pure genius stuff, the sound quality is all you can ask for from a music dvd and the camera angles are done very well.

The extras provide just as much entertainment, and are just as good as the main feature itself, there is a great part in which after a gig in america matt bellamy repeats that was f**king rock and roll before throwing his 2000 quid manson in a tip, which is then picked up by a passer by.

Why only 4 stars?

No DVD can recreate the atmosphere and the immense sound of the actual concert itself, but this is as close as you will get.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2005
This, like the Hullabaloo DVD, is Muse euphoria. Putting the technical details aside, this is Muse playing live as good as you would hope it would be. It combines the best of Absolution and some old favourites from Origin of Symmetry, a fan of Muse at any level must own it.
Although this does not include a DTS or DD soundtrack like in Hullabaloo, it is in LPCM 2.0 1536kbps which is a lot more than DTS at around 750 and DD at around 550. The video is at around 7Mbps which is again more than usual so the sound and video is excellent if you don't mind the 2.0 channels.
Again this isn't as big as Hullabaloo or as well put together (DVD wise) but it is WELL worth getting if you so much as like Muse. It will leave you in awe...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
There has been said a lot about this below, so I will not waste too much breathe on mentioning the absurdity that was removing Citizen Erased and Stockholm Syndrome - arguably the bands best track ever and the best from the recent album, respectively - from the Glastonbury part of the DVD. One can only ask: WTF?

Personally, there are other things that puzzle me also: I know the band recorded and filmed their double performance in Earl's Court, december 2004 - some of the footage made it to this DVD. The interesting thing is, that listening to the Earl's Court show of the 19th, which was broadcasted on BBC, I find that EC was actually a much better performance than Glastonbury. Of course, tastes differ, but to me Glastonbury was just a very even Muse performance (which still means outstanding), whereas Earl's Court had a number of tracks standing out as far superior - not least an absolutely mind-blowing version of Butterflies and Hurricanes. Furthermore, Earls Court had a much longer said including several interesting cuts like TSP, Microcuts and Deadstar, fan favorites and not that commonly heard (the former did show up among the DVD extras here).

The redeeming qualities of the DVD certainly comes with the extras: Not only do we get the above mentioned recording of TSP and Stockholm Syndrome from Earls Court, we also got a rare take on two B-sides from this period, The Groove and Fury. Particularly the latter, arguably the best B-side of the band ever, and they've done some very good ones, is a real treasure, and had they included also a recording of the other major B-side from this album, Eternally Missed, I know the bands would have gone for the DVD jost for these. To be fair, I don't think the latter was ever played live.

Also, as a not-so-hidden Easter Egg we get the duo Endlessly and Thoughts Of A Dying Atheist, two of the finest moments from Absolution if you ask me. Especially the take on Endlessly is to die for imo., and is oddly the only track on the whole DVD that stands substantially different from the studio version. With this, the whole Absolution album save Falling Away With You, which to my knowledge was never played live, is represented here, and as such, the extras are spot-on to fulfil the DVD where the main set is perhaps only average.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 February 2006
Muse's headline performance at Glastonbury 2004 was widely regarded as the high point of the festival and their very best gig to date, in a year that led them to pick up a number of awards for Best Live Act. Their third and Apocalyptic-edged album Absolution had expanded their repertoire with a variety of dramatic soundscapes and further cemented their place as one of the finest and most innovative rock bands around. Watching this performance, it's easy to see why. The sheer virtuosity of Matt Bellamy's musicianship as he moves effortlessly between virtuoso piano and raucous guitar work in "Butterflies and Hurricanes" is quite stunning, and certainly marks a highlight of what is a flawless set. This three-piece make one of the biggest sounds on the live circuit, and this transfers well to DVD with sound and picture quality that are both mostly excellent. Included in the extras is a performance of "Stockholm Syndrome" from Earls Court in December of the same year, but it's here that the DVD seems only to tantalise. The live act seems honed yet further in the intervening months and benefits too from some spectacular stage effects. Glastonbury was superb and certainly merits adding this DVD to your collection, but Earls Court looks to have been even better.
--Adam Chamberlain
Revelation Magazine
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2006
P>As for the actual concert, it is reproduced in a way that brings across the sheer power of their Glasto performance. The remastered sound is excellent too. The only two things that were SLIGHTLY disappointing to me have already been mentioned by other reviewers: first, the exclusion of Citizen Erased (which I'm CONVINCED must be on the DVD somewhere as a hidden feature); and secondly that the Glasto version of Stockholm Syndrome (which had me all emotional on the night) is not included.
These two minor points prevent me from giving the package five stars, but they really are minor.
I was at the Glastonbury performance, and to me owning this DVD is a perfect memento of one of THE most memorable nights of my life. The power and beauty of Muse is very apparent on this disk, and you should purchase this immediately, whether a fan or just a casual Muse listener.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 9 August 2007
It's difficult to imagine a better Muse DVD than 2003's Hullabaloo, but this is well worth buying if you're more than a casual fan of the band.

Instead of concentrating on a single show, it offers not only the band's 2004 Glastonbury set but also several performances from Earl's Court in 2004 and - hidden away as an Easter Egg - Wembley Arena in 2003. All of them show the band in full flood. There's always been something demented about Muse; in many ways they're the 21st century's ELP, capable of tasteless overkill as much as sweeping romance.

Frontman Matt Bellamy's energy seems inexhaustible. At Glastonbury, he whirls like a dervish, his mad-scientist white labcoat flapping around his legs as he races from guitar to keyboards; his command of two of the UK's most venerable indoor arenas is effortless and undeniable. In Dominic Howard, Muse have one of the best drummers in rock, and the sudden death of his father (to whom this DVD is dedicated) just after watching the Glastonbury show was a tragic postscript to a great year for the band.

Highlights include a supercharged version of Butterflies and Hurricanes at Glasto and a terrifying Apocalypse Please, complete with thundering drums and fascist-chic lighting. It's haunting that this passionate lament for lost freedoms should be accompanied by imagery that might have decorated a Nuremburg rally, as though we're being offered a glimpse of what might be in store for the unready. However, Bellamy's voice is sometimes overwhelmed by the power of the music, forcing him to push too hard to be heard; his beautiful tone comes through more strongly on the quieter Blackout and Endlessly.

Extra features also include a glimpse into how this massive British band adapted to playing small theatres and clubs in the US last year - walking round the venue and through the audience to get onstage, playing cheek by jowl with the front rows, living without all the trappings of arena-stardom. Much of this footage is home-movie standard, but it's worth a look just to see Matt chuck his still-howling guitar into the backstage trash as the crowd noise recedes.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 14 December 2005
This DVD has been much criticised by the fansite members, mostly because they have purchased the BBC set on ebay and were expecting something more - namely footage from Earls Court in December 2004.
The footage is different from the BBC coverage in that it has been remastered and edited, and also includes unseen footage from the London arenas in 2003 and 2004. Importantly, the surround sound and quality of audio is absolutely superb.
Glastonbury 2004 was the best performance by Muse in their entire career so far, and the video/audio on this DVD does fine justice to the quality and intensity of the gig. Everything about their Sunday headline slot on the main stage was perfect, and even though i have the eBay copy, i will watch this one over and over again - great entertainment and live music from the best band in the World.
People keep saying its a Christmas cash-in - and yes, its the fooking music industry, of course the label wants to release around christmas whenever possible.
A couple months ago, a DVD wasn't even planned, but the crazy muse fans petitioned in their 10s of thousands, and we got one - so a big thanks to the band manager for listening and giving us an excellent Muse release while we wait for the new album.
Just buy it, especially if you havnt seen Glastonbury, and even if you have. Its Muse at their very best, and arguably one of the very best music gigs ever. Peace.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I was a bit hedgey buying this thing based on the snooty reviews I read on some of the fan boards, and even on this site. I picked it up anyway as, to date, Muse has never put out anything close to a "cash-in" (look out for some of those priceless b-side collections and DVD/CD-ROM extras floating around).
This disc contains a really terrific performance, helped along with decent direction and editing - not to mention the crowd enthusiasm (with the occasional sing-a-long!). On top of that Matt Bellamy can't resist changing the songs up just enough - without changing the core of them - maybe even improving on them sometimes.
Highly recommended. And no, this was not a pre-Christmas money grab for the band (as some reviewers here have charged). Its just a great document, of a great band, playing a lot of great music - and having a great time with the crowd.
And of course, if you like this band, add the "Hullabaloo" DVD to your shelf as soon as posible.
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